Somatic Embryogenesis in Micropropagation System of Hybrid Aspen (P. tremuloides × P. tremula)
The use of short rotation forest tree species is increasing worldwide. Hybrid aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx. × P. tremula L.) is one of the most suitable tree species for short rotation forestry under the climatic conditions of the Baltic Sea region. Several technologies have been developed for the fast propagation of selected aspen genotypes, varying from root cuttings to laboratory (in vitro) micropropagation which provides a good opportunity to obtain a large number of new plants in a relatively short period of time. An originally-modified technology for hybrid aspen propagation through tissue culture, including somatic embryogenesis, has been developed in Forest Plant Biotechnology Laboratory of Lithuanian Research Centre for Agriculture and Forestry. The testing of the efficiency of this technology via ex vitro acclimatization of micro-shoots and production of saplings with closed root system revealed the rate of rooted and vigorously growing clones to be as high as 90–98%. Obtained hybrid aspen plants were used not only to establish experimental clonal stands but also, through the cooperation with a private enterprise, to establish several industrial-scale plantations.